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Plan to reduce UK skills gap unveiled

The digital skills gap observed by the UK is set to receive assistance from an international IT firm in an effort to reduce the deficit.

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Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) unveiled the initiative, which is set to provide young jobseekers with the information they need about a career in IT. The aim for the project is to encourage more young people into careers in the information and technology industry.

The assistance comes in the form of a resource pack that is distributed to both teachers and students alike. Inside the pack are details of the many paths available to those who pursue jobs in the industry, as well as tips and hints on how to get there.

Entitled TechFutures, the resources were developed with the help of The Tech Partnership and MyKindaCrowd and are composed of industry guidelines as well as practical exercises.

Teachers are provided with lesson plans, job descriptions and group activities to assist students in navigating the material. There will also be a number of sessions hosted at schools by volunteers from TCS and MyKindaCrowd to ensure the messages are getting across.

HR Director for TCS UK and Ireland, Nupur Singh Mallick, outlined the importance of the project in reaction to the growing amount of digital technologies present in everyday life.

“There will be an increase in demand for employees with digital skills, and hence more young people need to choose the right education, to give them the required future skills,” said Mr Mallick.

UK skills gap

The skills shortage faced by digital industries within the UK needs a concentrated effort by initiatives, such as the one described above, to ensure the industry can continue to grow.

Part of the reason for the skills gap is due to a decrease in the number of students passing through IT courses during their schooling. As reported by The Tech Partnership on February 2, in 2014 only 2.6 per cent of all school children attempted a GCSE paper in computing or a related field.

The article goes on to describe how this has been a steady decrease over time, with the amount of students sitting their A-level for computing or ICT almost halving in the decade between 2004 and 2014. Last year, only 13,650 students sat their A-levels for these courses, compared to 24,594 in 2004.

Programs such as TechFutures are therefore in demand by the UK’s tech industry to ensure that the sector gets the workers it needs for the future.